Monday, November 1, 2010

Predicament means what???

I looked it up and predicament comes from Latin roots "to proclaim." I'm gonna have to stew on that one for a while as that doesn't seem to tie in with my understanding of a "WTF?" moment. But none-the-less there is something to say for proclaiming your place in the world no matter the good or bad. That's true for what karma really means, you own up to what is happening and take responsibility whether you like it or not.

In my case we could stretch back quite a ways for how I got here, but lets just go for recent things for now. I may reminisce later but that will be a different post. The big moment of recent ills came with the call that my biggest customer abruptly closed their doors on Feb 7th, 2009. It was the proverbial nail in the coffin for our little herb company. The cascade of events that preceded this were, of course, much bigger than our little company's plights, but it sucked ot go through it none-the-less. What do you do when you're a small fish in a niche pond, barely making it though with forward momentum and huge prospects lining up for you... and then a $30Mil/year company has to close their doors essentially put out by bad decisions coming from the bank. Specifically the bank panicking and calling in a $2Mil loan before it was due. The domino effect was huge. And if they couldn't find someone to step in and save their $30Mil biz, what was I gonna do trying to find only $75K??

So that was the big ripple that hit us: our last sales in April, and bankruptcy came by July. The biggest thing was feeling the shame; having failed, having lost investors money, having lost my own and my spouses, as well as hindsight criticism. Its easy to say that all entrepreneurs go through this (which is true enough) but mapping your way through is never pretty. Especially when other factors take shape due to the cascade. Truly makes you evaluate (or re-evaluate as the case may be) critical issues. And as I mentioned hindsight criticism is a big part.

It's easy to look back and see mistakes that were made, but cautious review should have its limits. For example I made my best decisions based on what was happening and what seemed to be coming down the pipeline for us. Who could have predicted that while we were raising capital to expand our operations the whole world economy was like a little floater in the cosmic toilet bowl of bad karma? Certainly out of my scope, so those decisions have to be forgiven in the end. However, if I'm truly honest there are always moments when something is happening, something being decided, when you know deep down "I think this is a mistake" but you did/didn't do it anyway. Those moments require some extra care cause you still did your best at that moment. Maybe it was simple inexperience that led to the moment, maybe something else, but regardless it was what it was. Now the challenge is more like "can I actually learn from them or am I only going to beat myself up on those ones?" Hopefully learning takes precedence sooner than later.

All in all, the risk was manageable and though I am living near to homelessness I am basically happy, healthy and safe. At least for the moment. And I am still trying to go in new directions and do what is right by my sensibilities and those around me. I can't fix everything, but I can proclaim to do my best. So if my predicament is to be in awe and confusion as to what is going on.. then so be it. Here I am! I've got some sh@*ty karma to live out!

Of course a good taco helps keep the fight on too!

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